EP 92: How An Unexpected Pregnancy Became A Ministry: Suzanne Burns

Diana WinklerDomestic Violence


When you are faced with an unexpected pregnancy, it is hard to imagine what your future will be, or if God will ever bless your life again. We have a returning guest, Suzanne Burns, sharing her story once again of how God has used the trials in her past to create a thriving ministry. She updates us on the new trauma informed trainings she has developed. She also has a new Christian Fantasy Book Series called Bright Haven Chronicles. Find out what happened when God sent her a “download” one morning. Suzanne brings great stories and valuable advice that you don’t want to miss!


Suzanne founded and leads a thriving maternity home, with multiple sites and social enterprise. Over 100 mothers housed and over 500 served through non-residential services. Internationally recognized speaker and trainer, Podcast host, Author of 6 books and numerous video series, on ministry startup and trauma-informed care, Suzanne and her team have trained hundreds of organizations to implement practical tools to serve “the least of these” more effectively.

Suzanne Burns of Be Charity Wise empowers ministry leaders like you to achieve greater levels of transformation in the lives they touch. The secret of her effectiveness? A broad range of personal and professional experience and education.

Suzanne has over 20 years’ experience in nonprofit ministry to communities in need. Most recently, in 2012, she led a small, dedicated crew in founding a maternity home (complete with on-site education and social enterprise job-training programs) for mothers in critical situations. 

Once faced with a critical situation herself, Suzanne knows what your ministry clients face—and what will and will not help them.

Now equipped with a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Studies, Suzanne is also a Certified Family Trauma Professional. She has helped hundreds of ministry leaders understand the complex issues of trauma, poverty and addiction. Now they are serving their communities more effectively than ever before.

You can join their ranks. Equipped with Suzanne’s training, you and your team can learn to work more strategically—transform lives more quickly—and produce lasting results! 

website: BeCharityWise.com

Facebook: BeCharity Wise

Bright Haven Chronicles Available on Amazon, Kindle, and Paperback.

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Website: https://dswministries.org

Email: diana@dswministries.org

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New! Transcripts Of The Show!

Diana Winkler: [00:00:00] Hello, welcome to the podcast, once again. It is scorching here where I’m at 115 degrees this week. Thank God for air conditioning,

 but we did get some rain. Little sprinkling of rain. Not a whole lot. That just means the humidity went up. People don’t think that Arizona gets humidity, but we do. We do during the tropical storm season July and August. So yeah, it’s miserable right now. I don’t go outside.

Except to feed the neighborhood cat and, make sure the garden is getting watered in the morning. And bird bath is full. Other than that, we don’t go outside.[00:01:00]

Now, just an update for those of you that listened to the most recent episodes. As of today’s recording. I do not have a job yet, but I did have a lot of interviews this week. And a couple of them are very promising. So I’m hoping I get a bite on one of those.

And thank you so much, everyone for praying for us and for sending me job leads that is super helpful. And I did see some more interaction on the social media. So thank you for that.

And we have an awesome show for you today. We actually have a returning guest today. I think one of the first ones besides my [00:02:00] husband, Brian, she’s our first returning guest and it’s Suzanne Burns. And she was on this show last year. So if you haven’t heard that episode, be sure to go back and listen to it.

By the way, all of my episodes from day one are on my website on the blog page, DSW Ministries dot org. Also, if you listen to the podcast on my website, it will suggest to you other podcast episodes that are either related to this one, or it will probably. Bring up Suzanne’s previous episode.

So that’s helpful for you. Some of the podcast platforms, they only show like the most recent 10 [00:03:00] episodes. You don’t see this stuff from a year ago. And I had some really great guests last year. You would be blessed to go back and listen to some episodes.

I guarantee it you’ll find something that you’re going to enjoy. So just as a reminder of who Suzanne is, I’m gonna read a little bit about her. Suzanne founded and leads a thriving maternity home. With multiple sites in social enterprise, over a hundred mothers housed and over 500 served through non-residential services. Internationally recognized speaker and trainer podcast, host author of six books and numerous video series on ministry startup and trauma informed [00:04:00] care.

Suzanne and her team have trained hundreds of organizations to implement practical tools, to serve the least of these more effectively. So she told her story about her being a teenage mom pregnant at, 16. And. She decided to keep the baby, of course, being a Christian, being a follower of Christ and it wasn’t easy, but she went into her story of how she raised her son.

Who is now a Marine

and then started a home for. Girls who have had multiple traumas who are unwed mothers, maybe have addictions. Maybe [00:05:00] they’ve been homeless, all different situations that these girls have gone into, and

 she not only helps them heal and to take care of their child, become a good mother. But she also trains them in how to start their own business. That’s a valuable skill folks,as a business owner, myself. There’s a lot of skill that goes onto that. Some of these ladies that she’s serving have come from prostitution.

And they don’t know anything about working a regular job. So Suzanne and her team offer up so many resources and help for their community. And she told me that she has some more [00:06:00] resources and new book that she has. And so she wanted to come on the show again to. Talk about that. And of course she is an awesome lady.

She was a wonderful guest and always welcome back here on the wounds of the faithful. So we are going to, have a great conversation today. So here she is. Suzanne Burns.

Welcome back to the show. Suzanne Burns. Thanks for coming.

Suzanne Burns: I’m so glad to be back. Yeah. Thanks.

Diana Winkler: We had such a good time. The first time you were on the show that, when you said you had a new product, new service, and, I wanted to have you back on the show.

Suzanne Burns: Yeah. I’m so glad. I’m so glad. It was a lot of fun last time.

Where were, were kindred spirits. Yeah.

Diana Winkler: Yes, definitely. [00:07:00] So for those that did not listen to the first time you were on the show, can you remind them who you are and what you do?

Suzanne Burns: Yeah. So my day job is I run a maternity home here in Tennessee. We serve mothers in crisis, whether that’s pregnant and homeless coming out of, jail, out of rehab programs.

Sometimes they’ve lost custody of older children. And so we’re part of that reunification process. , so that’s my day job. And out of that was birthed the, the training that I received in order to do this wisely, Created, trauma informed care, understanding poverty, mindset, understanding addiction, all of those components that we had to learn.

I, wanted to share that with other Ministries, other organizations. So out of the, maternity home, we also have a coaching and training program called be charity wise, be charity wise.com and that helps other Ministries to learn [00:08:00] these things. From a, from a biblical standpoint and also incorporating all of the latest, scientific research in, in neural development, in addiction theory, in, in all of these components, all filtered through the lens of, of adults and also of trauma survivors and

 of a biblical worldview.

And, so that’s what I’m really excited about. I’m really passionate about helping other organizations learn what we’ve learned so that they can serve their clients more effectively because I’ve seen what it did in our ministry. As we have learned these things, and we have shifted how we work with clients to be able to, to just see really dramatic client transformations.

Diana Winkler: It is so needed right now in our world. Especially the last two years, everything we’ve been through as a nation, as a world, in fact that the trauma is [00:09:00] so high right now and the fall out from that. Your ministry is so needed.

Suzanne Burns: Yeah. Yeah, I appreciate that. Yeah. We’re just in the last, we’ve been open eight years, but just in the last two years, since the pandemic started, we have just seen such an increase, not only in client call volume, but in the worsening of their situations when they call, we’re seeing increased mental health diagnoses.

Increased addiction histories, increased trauma backgrounds. it’s just like it is getting worse and worse on these women. And at the same time they are, they are carrying or they’re, parenting the next generation. And so their trauma is affecting the next generation, whether they realize it or not.

 Whether genetically through, epigenetics, which is the, the physical manifestation of the trauma that we experience and how that is passed on to, children in the womb and, in early development . As [00:10:00] well as, as in their behavioral patterns, as the children grow up, they weren’t parented themselves.

And so they don’t know how to properly parent their children. And so all they’re really ultimately doing is exacerbating the situations and, perpetuating this, chronic poverty, chronic trauma lifestyle into. That next generation. So how do we stop it? How do we arrest that cycle and, and that’s where the wisdom method comes in.

And that’s what I wanted to talk about with your audience today.

Diana Winkler: And you yourself had a crisis pregnancy when you were young?

Suzanne Burns: I did.

Diana Winkler: And so that’s. That’s how your ministry started. Can you share briefly, I know you told your story the last time you were here, but maybe just give them, a brief story of how you went through that very same thing.

Suzanne Burns: Yeah. Yeah. So the nickel tour so I grew up in a very Christian home. I was very sheltered and very protected and I really didn’t [00:11:00] know that I was sheltered and protected. And then I went to college at a very small Christian university. I’m the third generation, student at that school.

And, the caveat was though that I was now 1800 miles from home. And so even though I was in this, supposedly safe, controlled atmosphere that my parents knew and loved themselves, I had freedom that I didn’t know what to do with, because I had never needed to know how to use freedom because my parents had always, sheltered me.

And so before I knew it, by the time I was a junior in college, I was smoking. I was drinking. I was experimenting with illegal drugs and that whole situation revolved around one particular boyfriend. And then I woke up one day pregnant and, and I would love to say that, that was my wake up call and I immediately, shifted gears and got my life back on track.

I did not I did not. It took several more years. We got married because of course I’m a good little [00:12:00] Christian girl. And so that’s what you do when you get pregnant out of wedlock mm-hmm . And, we were married when our son was six weeks. And it was. Unfortunately as unpleasant a marriage as it had been a dating relationship.

And so he persisted in the drug use and, and before too much longer, I fell back into it. I had stopped all of that while I was pregnant, but, once Caden, my son was old enough and we were remarried and now I’m living back in that situation. Again, I fell back into it all very, very quickly.

 I finally had the true wake up when my son was about 18 months old and, I had been, so my first husband was a musician. And so he, that meant he didn’t have to work. He, made his money he actually, did gigs for, pot or for random pieces of furniture. It was always very weird, but not ever actually money.

And so I always had to work. That much more in order to pay for us, which was never enough. [00:13:00] And so I was like selling insurance. I was selling mortgages. I was trying anything to make like big money. Right. Which also didn’t work. And so one particular day I was coming home. I was picking up my son from, my in-laws who were babysitting and was just kind of really up upset and complaining to ’em.

And it had been a long day. I had gotten no sales and I was just really frustrated and disappointed. And so I said to my mother-in-law at the time who was also a godly Christian woman. And I said, I just, don’t understand why God’s not blessing us, why God’s not blessing me.

And she just kind of looked over at me as she’s putting my son’s things into his little backpack, getting ready to go home. And she said, well, honey, what are you doing that God can bless. And she just went right back on, went right back to doing what she was doing. Mm-hmm but I was absolutely stripped naked in an instant mm-hmm standing there before the Lord.

And that was the week before [00:14:00] Thanksgiving in 2000. And from that point forward, I didn’t do anymore drugs and I didn’t do anymore alcohol. It did take longer for me to quit smoking. That was the one thing I was actually addicted to. Everything else for me was more circumstantial. And then, it led to a process of, do I stay, do I go, I know the Lord doesn’t agree with divorce, but I also know that there are times when it is necessary.

And so by the time we got into February of 2001, that was when I finally had permission from the Lord to leave and to divorce. And that led into a couple of years of, okay. So how do I fix this?. I’m not, at all jumping back into another relationship. How do I fix what went wrong? How did I get into this place?

I don’t wanna be the frog in the frying pan ever again. I really focused intentionally on healing myself and figuring out why I made the decisions I did. And then, eventually I remarried and we had another son. my boys are six years apart. . [00:15:00] And then as I began to kind of re rebuild at new level, at a higher level, I began to volunteer at our crisis pregnancy center, wanting to serve women who were in the situation that I had once been in myself.

And I was there for seven years. Absolutely loved it, but we began seeing more and more women coming through who needed a deeper level of support. They were living in their cars. They were, in danger of being kicked out by angry stepdads. They were 24. They didn’t have a G E D had never worked.

They were dealing with addiction themselves. And, so we were just seeing much, much more severe situations than what we were equipped to do. And, and so I, I knew that we needed something more. And then one day the Lord sent in a specific client. And she was pushing her baby in who was about three or four months old in the stroller.

And she was really frustrated cuz she couldn’t find a job. And so I started asking questions, are you maybe applying for the wrong jobs? Are you not a good interviewer? What is the issue and how [00:16:00] can I fix it for you? And she says, at some point in the interview, the baby gets fussy or he needs a diaper change.

And, the interview is just kind of over at that point. And of course my first thought was, Ooh, I’m pretty sure the interview was over when they saw you pushing the baby in. But of course I had been there long enough to know that that’s never the full picture. So, I asked yet more questions and come to find out the reason she was taking her baby with her in the first place was because the man she lived with the baby’s father was a violent drug dealer.

And she did not feel safe leaving her son home alone with him, , because she didn’t know how he would act or how the people coming in and out would act towards her son. And, I went home that day and told my husband. Something has to change. We have to do this mm-hmm and it took about six months for me to get my my heart.

Right. My mindset, right. To start publicly talking about it. And then, in that was in [00:17:00] 2011, is when that I met that client 2012 was when we first started like publicly talking about foundation, house, raising money and really establishing it. And then we opened our doors in 2014. And so we’ve now been open eight years.

We have two houses. Two storefronts for our job training program and two satellite offices in two different counties because we’re actually the only maternity home in 150 miles. So we actually serve like 12 or 13 counties, just by default. So we have a tremendous need for these women.

Diana Winkler: That story is just as exciting. The second time I heard it as first time. I’m glad, it’s amazing that you’ve what you’ve gone through and what you have with the Lord’s help of course, and your team, what you have done.

Suzanne Burns: And I appreciate that. Diana,

Diana Winkler: You have even more. To do [00:18:00] there and you just keep, creating more resources for people to try and help them.

And you told me before the call, you got a download from the Lord today, and I love that.

Suzanne Burns: Yeah. Yeah. I’m so excited. Yeah. So, the wisdom method.

Has been the training system that we’ve used for other maternity homes, other organizations, helping them understand how poverty mindset and trauma and addiction, all.

Feed into the clients that they serve. But at the same time, there’s also so many more mothers who either don’t need to come into a residential program or don’t have access to one. There’s only about 400 maternity homes throughout the US and Canada combined. How can I help get this information to all moms coming from a trauma history so that they can parent wisely.

And this [00:19:00] morning, the Lord just kind of, exploded the idea and, it even gave me a tagline for the book and everything. The wisdom method, a post traumatic guide for parenting. Well, this is gonna be designed for parents who have a trauma history and want to halt the transference of their trauma response into their children.

So whether you’re a parent of, of a toddler, whether your child is still in the womb, whether your parent of teenagers or really whether you have adults as your children, There is, never a bad time for you to begin your healing process. And as you heal, then that’s gonna change your responses to your children and your change in response is gonna transform their change in response.

And so it’s, you’re going to find a positive cycle of behavioral, correction of relationship, correction, and of strengthening. [00:20:00] Obviously it’s best when you start early, but it is never too late. As long as you have breath in your body, it is never too late to begin this process of healing. And so I’m really excited to begin developing the wisdom method.

 It’s a year long process, but, the vast majority of that is more maintenance. So the first 12 weeks is, really intensive classes and training to understand what went wrong and to help you begin your own pathway to healing. And then six months of. Biweekly group therapy sessions, as you talk through your issues and how that’s playing out in your children’s relationships.

And then, the final three months is more like follow up and, kind of maintenance. How are things still going? Are you, making sure that these concepts get entrenched? I love this, this picture because the wisdom method, the name comes from Proverbs nine [00:21:00] one, which says wisdom has built her house.

She has hewn it’s seven pillars. And that to me is really just the perfect picture of how to, parent well, but you parent well, because you are well, when you’re healed, then you can heal. So if we focus on healing, Ourselves then that naturally is going to filter out to everyone that we come in contact with, whether it’s our children, our spouse, our coworkers, our friends, our parents, our extended family members.

Our neighbors, it’s going to ripple out to everyone that we touch. And, before you know it, you are walking in wisdom to the point that you’re, able to pour into the sweet little girl working at the dollar general counter. You’re able to pour into strangers that you pass on the street because you have found that healing and now you can offer that healing to other people.

My mandate from the Lord is to rescue a [00:22:00] generation of mothers who will be equipped to rescue their own children or whose children will never need rescuing in the first place. Mm-hmm . And I have always assumed that was through maternity homes, which is my world. And it was like, the Lord just exploded it to me this morning that it’s mother’s period.

 Just like in a hospital, you may have your ICU, your intensive care units you have, but you also have your outpatients and it’s the whole continuum of how do I serve women coming from a traumatic background so that. Response is halted into that next generation and growth and healing is what is fed into their children.

And yeah, I’m excited. I’m excited.

Diana Winkler: Yes you’re excitement is contagious. Now tell us about your two kids, how they’re doing, because obviously you’ve broken the generational [00:23:00] curse, so to speak, right?

Suzanne Burns: Yeah, my boys are now 23 and 17. We’re a blended family.

So his dad is elsewhere. His dad is still in active addiction. My 23 year old graduated high school and left for boot camp in the Marine Corps. A few weeks later, graduated from bootcamp on. Friday and got married on Saturday to a girl that I had met on Thursday. So it was a very tumultuous year.

2017 was a very tumultuous year, but they have now been married five years in September and, and have the best little son ever. My grandbaby is the absolute perfect one. Oh, and he’s about 18 months old and it is so much fun. And my 17 year old is going into his senior year in high school and looking for colleges and he’s a football player and wrestling.

 He’s excited to see what the Lord has for him too. And he has a little steady girlfriend that they met in [00:24:00] church. And, my older son, we went through it. We went through some really hard things, some really difficult shifting, especially through middle school. He ended up spending.

The rest of his eighth grade year in an alternative school, because he had drugs on campus. Mm. And so, zero tolerance, put him in an alternative school, but it ultimately was the absolute best thing for him because when he, by the time he graduated that he was, he was ready to go back to regular school.

And so he spent all of high school in the regular population and things really shifted. For him and his, his wife is a wonderful, wonderful, godly young lady. And they have, I believe very firmly that, that she is a big reason why he’s in such a good position now at 23 years old.

Mm-hmm because, because she’s been in his life. So I’ve been really blessed even though it didn’t, even though it started very tumultuous for all of us.[00:25:00] It was clearly the hand of the Lord. And I have so many testimonies from that era. But, I’m just really proud of both of my sons and it’s been hard.

 It’s hard. One of my staff is also part of a blended family and I know a lot of them nowadays that it’s a very common thing, but, it’s just really difficult and you have to learn how to pray. and how to wait. So much of it is just about patience and perseverance and giving room for the holy spirit to work on his timing instead of hours, which is not as easy as it sounds.

Diana Winkler: No, it’s not, but it’s, you pointed out something very true that even when we decide to live for the Lord, Take the right path and have a godly home and raise children for the Lord. There’s definitely still speed bumps. And the healing process is not overnight. It is a [00:26:00] journey. Exactly. Nothing is instant.

And every time you fall down, you have to decide I’m gonna get back up again.

Suzanne Burns: Exactly, exactly. And just like in physical healing, if you have to go to, to the ER and, say you’ve broken a leg and you’re six, you’re going to, your body’s gonna heal much faster than if you’re 60.

 And so in, in physical terms, we recognize the healing process in emotional terms. We, just don’t. We just think, well, that was like three weeks ago. Why are you still upset about that? Why, why, why are you not healed? That was, 30 years ago. Why aren’t you fixed? And that’s just not how we work.

It’s just not how we work.

Diana Winkler: Now is your 17 year old involved in your organization at all?

Suzanne Burns: He not so much right now, he’s pretty busy. I mean, he’ll help, like moving furniture and stuff. I get him and his football buddies to come and do [00:27:00] landscaping and that kind of thing. But when he was younger, partly because he also has his own car now.

 But when he was younger, he would be getting buried around with the girls all the time. Where, I am, they are and where I am, he was at that time. So he’s grown up in it. when let’s see, I think we. He was in first grade when I first started this, this process. And so he was probably like third or fourth grade when we opened.

So he he’s grown up in it his entire life. So he really doesn’t remember anything before mom did this, or at least not much yeah, he’s been around it all his life. I’ve always been real open with my boys because of what I do and the women I work with. I remember one time, he, him and his girlfriend now they’ve been together now a year and a half, but on their first couple of dates, I could hear from, another room, she was like, stop it and quit.

And don’t do that, and I knew. I know my [00:28:00] son. So I knew what it was, is like early immature flirting that doesn’t know what to do, but I couldn’t not, I had to go in there and say, look, I love you both. If he’s actually hurting you, I’m gonna help you.

 But if he is not. This needs to stop. You need to quit touching her in ways that make her react like that. And, you need to stop egging it on. Cause I ain’t gonna have this. This is how things get outta control fast. and of course, like I said, they’ve been together a year and a half and I have a wonderful relationship with both of them.

I knew nothing serious was going on in the moment and this was all perfectly innocent, but it always leads to something. and I did not know at the time that this would lead to a long-term relationship. So how do I know? What is gonna be healthy in the next relationship for either one of them?

Mm-hmm they, I knew they needed to learn quickly how to behave appropriately with the opposite sex. And they were, 16 and 15 at the time. So I’ve always been [00:29:00] real with both of my boys. I couldn’t help it. My older son was coming in and out. when he would stay over at his dad’s, he would have a different girlfriend every week and, they were, there were drugs in the house, although not generally in, cadence physical presence, although a couple of times he walked in on him.

But, it was always evident. Within my home because it carried over from my ex-husband. And so my younger son saw all of that, from the periphery. So I’ve always had to be real open and honest with both of ’em. My kids have known that I used to do drugs from, from early days because they need to know why it’s so serious and why I don’t.

They need to understand why. I am so, pro waiting until marriage for sex, why I am. So pro-life why I am the way I am. So that it will explain to them. The answers that they need. I’ve been able to be that person for their friends and for the little girls that [00:30:00] would run around with them, especially in middle school.

 Being able to be that person that, parent, that the neighbor kids could come to and talk about bullying or depression, or, a friend who was having suicidal thoughts and, I’ve been able to be a blessing to other people because I was not afraid to tell the truth to my children.

Diana Winkler: Nothing like your mom coming in on a date and having that sex ed talk .

Suzanne Burns: Exactly. Yeah, but mom don’t play. Mom don’t play.

Diana Winkler: That must have been difficult in talking about sex to your two teenage boys. Mm-hmm. But, I think the problem today is all right, we’ve got all this information on the internet and they’re deluged with, sex everywhere, but they’re not getting the correct information.

They’re not getting, this is how you treat a young lady. Or if it’s a girl, this is how you, act around a man. [00:31:00] This is what you don’t do. Rubber meets the road stuff. There’s not a lot of people that have the, can I say guts to talk to their kids? Yeah. They’re afraid. My parents were pretty good, but, they gave me a book and, it’s hard.

Suzanne Burns: It’s hard to have that conversation. Yeah, it really is. But I think, a lot of times, especially Christian parents just want to believe that their kids aren’t being affected by what’s going on in the world. And they’re afraid that if we start talking about it, that will open doors that will open questions.

It will open, opportunities for my kids to fall into those things. When the reality is, it’s the exact opposite by not knowing, that’s what opens doors, because ignorance is bliss. I was having a lot of fun in, college being so far away from my parents. Not understanding the [00:32:00] realities of what I was stepping into.

Thinking that I was an adult when, I was not ready for the decisions I was making by any stretch. And, so I think we do our kids a disservice by not telling them the realities that, I did these things and I regret it. I enjoyed it at the time, but the consequences, the after effects have been, devastating.

And I have clients and I have clients who have family members who have been permanently disabled by the drugs that they had used. You need to know that is a possibility. You need to understand why sex before marriage is not a good idea. Sex outside of marriage is not a good idea. You need to understand it otherwise.

How can you make a wise informed decision? How can you, battle against your teenage raging hormones, if you don’t have grounding in the [00:33:00] why mm-hmm .

Diana Winkler: Yeah, so very true. Very true. Now you have another book that you’re starting to promote. I didn’t even know that you had a Christian fantasy series.

For some reason. I missed that on the first interview.

Suzanne Burns: I think maybe I hadn’t written it then. I don’t remember. I don’t remember. Anyways. So it’s called Bright Haven Chronicles and this is book one, Journey to Bright Haven. It’s a Christian fantasy series designed to help people understand how the kingdom of God is supposed to operate.

And book two has just been released, but I don’t have any hard copies yet. But they’re both on Amazon, in both Kindle and paperback versions. And so this series follows Aria, who is a young street orphan on her journey to meet the high king. And will he want me as a, street [00:34:00] urchin, as a homeless, with nothing of value to give to the king?

Is he even gonna want me in the first place . And then, in book two, so that’s the pretty much the, gist of book one. And then in book two Aria and one of her friends, Sarah, the title of that one is Sarah’s Quest. They’re assigned to begin, to go to work for the king, to begin to learn outside of the kingdom, their roles and their responsibilities.

 It’s a nine book series and all along the progression is designed to help people understand how the kingdom of God operates. And, so you can see yourself and your role in it. And so ultimately Aria is, in book nine will be assigned a territory to rule and reign over under the authority of the high king.

And, really giving that comprehensive picture of how we, as the church are supposed to be taking dominion over our world [00:35:00] over our territory and empowering people to understand the why. I really am a big believer that if you understand the why it makes the, what that much easier.

Diana Winkler: Absolutely.

And Christian fantasy that’s really popular. Right now. That genre. Yeah. I’m a huge Narnia fan. I read all the books as a kid. Now, Lord of the Rings, of course. I’ve never read any either books, but my husband’s a real big Lord of the Rings fan. And he decided to introduce me to that series by having me sit down and watch the extended director’s cut of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

And I was like. Another battle scene?

Schmegal again? When is he gonna die? It’s like he just kept popping out from behind rocks, and being horrible and all this stuff, like three hours later, it’s like, when is this going to end? [00:36:00] So,

yeah, we like, Christian fantasy, genre right here in the house. And, it sounds like your series. Talking about our worth as a child of God, right? Yeah, exactly. And through the book, Aria is discovering that, she’s living in a world at war that she didn’t realize because she was living on the streets.

Suzanne Burns: She was kind of insulated in her day to day survival. Once she gets the opportunity to come beyond. She has this awakening of, world, world at war. And, and now, now I have to decide which kingdom I am going to, support. And I think that we as Christians, that to me is a perfect picture for us as Christians, that we all too often forget that we are at war.

And we’ve gotten lazy and comfortable and complacent. Meanwhile, the enemy is winning more and more because we are not fighting [00:37:00] back. We are. We’re, just going deeper into ourselves or into our little world, our little knife war, and no more kind of church when the reality is that if you are already a player in this war, you’re either for the Lord intentionally or by default, you are against.

And and so that’s kind of an undertone throughout the series and gets a little more gets a little more realized in book two and then much more into book three.

Diana Winkler: October.

That’s not that far away.

Suzanne Burns: Nope. Nope. In a nine book series. I gotta keep it moving.

I gotta get this outta here. Get it off my plate.

Diana Winkler: I have a lot of writers come on the show. How do you find time to write?

Suzanne Burns: I get up at 5:00 AM. I get up freaking early and then when it’s crunch time, I have to set deadlines for myself, otherwise it just won’t ever happen.

So when it gets towards crunch time, I’m sitting there. Jotting things down. Whether I’m standing in line somewhere, whether I’m sitting [00:38:00] there on the couch, watching TV with my husband I’m trying to finish writing. I hand write my novels and then I transcribe them into the computer and that’s when I then go back and edit and flesh it out.

So for me it really is about intentionality.

Diana Winkler: Yeah. I’m not a writer, but. I’m a musician, as you see behind me, I got my piano and I’ve decided that, okay, Sunday, , between 10 and one o’clock is the time that I’m gonna write music. And, I record here in the studio.

 If I don’t schedule that time, it doesn’t get done. There’s so many other things. Yeah. And then before, it’s like, okay, two years have passed and I haven’t created anything. I’ve got all this wonderful equipment. I’ve got all these ideas. And yeah, you’d have to.

Actually schedule it just like everything else.

Suzanne Burns: Exactly. You gotta make appointments with yourself. Sometimes you gotta make [00:39:00] dates for it. And also that it doesn’t necessarily need to be, huge blocks of time. Sometimes it’s just a sentence here or there. And one of the reasons why I love handwriting, everything.

Is because I can be lazy. I can be like, and then they go to this place and then they meet this person and they have this random conversation. And it’s later in the editing that I have to actually figure all that out. I can just kind of push through and get the gist of the story done which gives me a sense of completion without bogging me down in details.

What am I gonna name this person? And then I get sidetracked on an internet search in name generators. And what does this word mean? no, all of that is for editing later. First I have to get the story out and then once it’s out, then I can nuance and I can layer and I can add things in.

But that’s what helps me is just the push through to early completion. And that’s what sets me up for long term [00:40:00] lasting success. Mm.

Diana Winkler: If you wanna send me the hard copy when you get it, I can display it back here on my little stand. Promote your book for you? Yeah. I know we talked a lot about different things today, but is there anything else that you wanted to talk about that we didn’t cover?

Suzanne Burns: I think we’ve covered pretty much everything right now.

Diana Winkler: So I know you have other resources that, that you offer people too. Tell the folks about those.

Suzanne Burns: Yeah on our be charity wise.com website under online trainings, we have a wide variety of training programs designed for people to understand how trauma and poverty mindset affect people.

These are all kind of. Organizational focused, but the information can be applicable anywhere. And they’re all relatively affordable. And so these are designed to help you [00:41:00] understand kind of the, the totality of of secular research, all filtered through a biblical world view. And then also give you tools to apply that whether you’re running a food pantry or.

A bus ministry for children or you’re a maternity home or pregnancy help center. Like what we are, we’re a maternity home and or you’re just working with foster kids or you’re working with people from trauma backgrounds. This is a good tool to help you understand. Their behaviors because their brains developed differently and their thought processes work differently.

And when you understand that you can find yourself less frustrated less stressed out, less disappointed when they don’t do things like you think they should. It gives you a lot opportunity to offer a lot more grace. And that’s when you begin to see true client transformation, when you’re able to offer grace instead of frustration.

Diana Winkler: Hmm, that’s a [00:42:00] great resource. You have a lot of free stuff on your website.

Suzanne Burns: Mm-hmm I do. Yeah. I’ve got two different free books and you can sign up and download those and then they’ll feed you into a an email loop that sends even more information. One is called The Accidental Social Worker, which is kind of the intro to all of this trauma informed information.

And the other one is called Five Ways to Start or Strengthen Your Nonprofit Ministry. That’s really designed for people wanting to wanting to establish Ministries. It doesn’t have to be a maternity home specifically, but but that then gives you the tools and resources to really develop the systems that I used to establish hours.

Diana Winkler: I’ve read those resources and they’re really helpful. Excellent. It’s very applicable to a lot of Ministries. What do you do when somebody’s coming to your church and they want a hand out? How do you deal with that?

Exactly. definitely [00:43:00] folks sign up to receive her emails and get her free gifts.

They would definitely help you. And so tell the folks how to get ahold of you,

Suzanne Burns: My website is be charity wise.com. Be charity wise.com. And my email address is Suzanne @Be charity wise.com. And I look forward to hearing from everybody. I do my best to respond to everyone who emails me. And and it’s just me, I’m just a one woman, small business.

 my staff here help a lot and they help with some of the training, videos and information, but the the responses is all just me. If you have questions or comments or concerns, please feel free to reach out. It will come directly to me.

And you’re on all the social media channels too?

Mm-hmm right. . Yeah. At, be charity wise on Facebook. I’m not on Instagram cuz I’m lazy, but [00:44:00] I am on Facebook.

Diana Winkler: yeah, I’m still trying to figure out Instagram, you’re in clubhouse. I have not, yeah, not tried clubhouse.

Suzanne Burns: It’s a lot of fun. I really like it. It’s a, for those that are not familiar with it, it’s an audio only app that enables you to go into different rooms with, on specific topics.

And then you can raise your hand and you can come up to the stage, so to speak and conversation. With the host, the moderator of whichever room you’re in. And so to me, it’s like an interactive podcast. Really, you can be doing anything you wanna be doing, but while still having these great conversations, And so I host a couple of different clubs on there and I have rooms fairly regularly.

I kind of put all of that on pause as I was trying to get book two finished. But now that that’s released, I can start kind of ramping up again for the fall sessions. And and so if you’re not familiar with clubhouse you can just Google that app [00:45:00] and download that in the app store.

 And find me on there as well.

Diana Winkler: Yeah. I think clubhouse is only for apple products. I believe.

Suzanne Burns: No it was, it was for the first year or so, but it’s now Android also.

Diana Winkler: Oh yeah. Nobody told me that. So all you clubhousers, connect with Suzanne.

It’s been amazing having you back on the show again and hearing about your exciting new products and services. And you’re always welcome to come back on the show anytime.

Suzanne Burns: I appreciate it. I appreciate it, Diana. Thank you.

Diana Winkler: God bless you.

Suzanne Burns: All right. You too. You too.